Providing food can elevate your sports event to the next level. Having food means spectators can stay longer and enjoy an additional experience. While the benefits of having food at your event may seem evident, the logistics are not so simple. For anyone looking to hire food trucks for their event, here are five things to know.

Space, the FIRST Frontier

Food trucks can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In fact, when searching for the perfect food truck, you’ll notice that food trailers and caterers may also be viable options for your event. Because of such variety, figuring out exactly how much space you give your food vendors to operate is essential.
Space needed for the food truck/trailer/tent to operate is more than just the footprint of the vehicle or tent. You should also consider any extra space that may be valuable for them to use. An extra five to 10 feet behind the truck can allow room for more food prep, cooking and food storage. Space can be designated in front of the truck to allow for mobile pick-ups, line management and a customer waiting area. 

You may also need to consider where in your event space food trucks would fit, have access to load in more food, be able to access water, and to dump gray water.

Person with a skateboard waiting to order at a food truck.

Irie Jamaican Kitchen Saturday Market

Scheduling and Timing    

Scheduling and timing are important to event planning and it is crucial food vendors understand when they can arrive to begin preparing food. Make sure you stagger the arrival of your food vendors so that you can properly show them their operating space. If you have three food trucks arrive at the same time, it may be difficult to welcome and show them to their spaces. You want to make sure you’re only loading in one truck at a time to avoid accidents, especially since larger trucks may have a more difficult time parking in their allocated spot. For all-day or multiple-day events, another important piece of timing to have figured out and well communicated is the time period your food vendor is able to restock ingredients. Make sure you and your food vendors are familiar with the “run of show” of the event and what times are significant for food service. What times are likely to be the most busy and need extra prep? What times may be less congested for employee breaks?

8th & Olive Food Truck Pod by Melanie Griffin

8th & Olive Food Truck Pod

Nice to Haves vs Need to Haves

Understand what your food vendors need to have to operate and serve food. What they NEED to have are non-negotiable requirements the vendors insist are necessary for operation. Examples of need-to-have things include access to water, gray water removal, ice supply and electricity. Nice-to-have amenities may make it easier for the food vendors to operate. Examples of nice-to-have amenities may include dedicated wifi access or a direct water hookup. Provide your food vendors with what they need to operate and anything else is icing on the cake. Just make sure the food vendor understands what you can and cannot provide. 

Personality Management

Each food vendor is different. Some have been in the business for years while others just bought their brand new trailer. Some are family businesses with few employees while others have many employees across several restaurants and trucks. Make sure to take time to get to know each of the groups you’re working with. And since every food vendor is different, this means their expectations of the event organizers will be different. The more you understand who you’re working with the better you will be able to communicate with them to work together for a better event.

Person ordering at the window of a pizza food truck.

Bartolotti's Pizza Cart

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

When communicating with the food vendor, make sure they know you’re on the same team. Bumps on the road to a successful event can make everyone stressed. Long hours, time constraints, and the threat of something getting in the way of food for the event can make for challenging situations. If you make it clear from the beginning that everyone is on the same team and are problem-solving together instead of as adversaries, those road bumps are much easier to manage. Have an open channel of communication with vendors. If they run out of ice or the power goes out, they should know who to call to fix the issue. 

Food trucks can be a fun and engaging way to feed crowds and these tips should help. Contact us and our professional services staff will be glad to help you discover the best food truck options for your event.